The Tiger The Ram And The Jackal
: South-african Folk-tales
Tiger (leopard) was returning home from hunting on one occasion, when he
lighted on the kraal of Ram. Now, Tiger had never seen Ram before, and
accordingly, approaching submissively, he said, "Good day, friend! What
may your name be?"
The other in his gruff voice, and striking his breast with his forefoot,
said, "I am Ram. Who are you?"
"Tiger," answered the other, more dead than alive, and
leave of Ram, he ran home as fast as he could.
Jackal lived at the same place as Tiger did, and the latter going to
him, said, "Friend Jackal, I am quite out of breath, and am half dead
with fright, for I have just seen a terrible looking fellow, with a
large and thick head, and on my asking him what his name was, he
answered, 'I am Ram.'"
"What a foolish fellow you are," cried Jackal, "to let such a nice piece
of flesh stand! Why did you do so? But we shall go to-morrow and eat it
Next day the two set off for the kraal of Ram, and as they appeared over
a hill, Ram, who had turned out to look about him, and was calculating
where he should that day crop a tender salad, saw them, and he
immediately went to his wife and said, "I fear this is our last day, for
Jackal and Tiger are both coming against us. What shall we do?"
"Don't be afraid," said the wife, "but take up the child in your arms,
go out with it, and pinch it to make it cry as if it were hungry." Ram
did so as the confederates came on.
No sooner did Tiger cast his eyes on Ram than fear again took possession
of him, and he wished to turn back. Jackal had provided against this,
and made Tiger fast to himself with a leathern thong, and said, "Come
on," when Ram cried in a loud voice, and pinching his child at the same
time, "You have done well, Friend Jackal, to have brought us Tiger to
eat, for you hear how my child is crying for food."
On these dreadful words Tiger, notwithstanding the entreaties of Jackal
to let him go, to let him loose, set off in the greatest alarm, dragged
Jackal after him over hill and valley, through bushes and over rocks,
and never stopped to look behind him till he brought back himself and
half-dead Jackal to his place again. And so Ram escaped.